Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sesame Street's the Real Deal

I remember watching Sesame Street when I was little, and I remember the wild Tickle Me Elmo craze, but even then, the idea of kids loving Sesame Street didn't quite sink in. That was until recently. Sesame Street has quickly become the show for George. It is his one hour a day to solve letter mysteries and talk, literally have a conversation, with the famous Elmo. I have been completely taken back with just how much he loves his sixty minutes of cartoon-muppet-delight. This morning while Elmo spoke on the screen, King George danced around with his own rockin' Elmo and proceeded to give his furry, red friend loud kisses. He will probably hate me some day for that last sentence. George also began stripping his pants off and on during a "How to Put Your Pants On" number. There is no doubt that the people at Sesame Street have definitely capitalized on their popularity, but I had no idea just how much kids really enjoy the characters and their crazy everyday situations. Who knows what George will enjoy tomorrow? Maybe another migrating attempt from Big Bird or maybe Dorothy will actually surprise us with a few words. One thing I do know is that a blond-haired boy with doe-blue eyes will be tuning in.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review of "It's Time to Sleep, My Love"

Eric Metaxas' It's Time to Sleep, My Love is the one book in George's bedtime basket that makes him smile every time I pull it out. King George immediately nestles into my lap while sticking his wiggling hand into the air and anxiously anticipating the most important job during story time; page-turning.

George cuddles close as I read the enjoyable rhythmic text and we both soak in Nancy Tillman's gorgeous illustrations. I feel all warm and fuzzy while reciting, It's time to sleep, my love, my love, to my sleepy son.

Like many picture books, there are several lines in the story that a child may not understand, but I definitely think the repetition, beautiful animal illustrations, and whimsical feelings are worth the explanation. So, if you are looking for an enjoyable bedtime read, It's Time to Sleep, My Love may be just the book for you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time for Hot Tea with Honey...Finally

About a month has passed since I first began my new cleaning endeavor. I decided to read, "Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise," and follow the suggestions within. It's truly a lot of work.

A lot.

However, two months ago, running around the house like a madwoman, shoving everything into closets and under rugs wasn't exactly the good life. Now, when people say they're "popping by," it's no big deal. The house is really, honest-to-goodness, ready. Did I mention that I


my writing time? Every day when George naps, I enjoy guilt-free time to dream up some wild, new adventure for my characters. I don't have to worry about the house. I can...wait for it...wait for it...FOCUS. *happily exhales*

After I finish my cleaning cards, usually around 9:30, I have time to spin on the bike and then veg in front of an extremely corny and equally wonderful Hallmark movie while I sip on my peach tea, sweetened with the most perfect amount of honey.

Yeah, this might actually work.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Everyday Adventures

A few weekends ago, I had a book reading and signing in my hometown. It was fun seeing family, friends and new faces. The mom-in-law of one of my friends asked me a question that I get quite a bit, "Where do you get the ideas for your writing?"

I always have to pause and think about my answer. There are so many people and things that spark ideas. My former, second-grade fashionistas inspired my picture book, Katie Ling Fashion Queen. The lack of literary resources for a second-grade math concept inspired another picture book. As a child, the way I saw other kids treat a loved one forced me to write a picture book that I'm currently editing with my agent, Dawn Dowdle. Silly family stories have also had me laughing and typing simultaneously.

For me, inspiration doesn't usually come from unbelievable, mind-blowing events. I'm inspired by the day-to-day activities that may even seem mundane to others, like a stroll in the park with my son or looking through a family album. Actually, I love that moment a new idea for a story hits me. It's thrilling and anxiety-filled all in one. Just the thought of a new story is exciting, but of course that excitement is followed by the anxious feelings of whether or not I can pull it off. I've learned to shake those off and reach for my computer the next chance I get.

Below are a few pictures of my everyday adventures. Okay, as for the last picture, maybe we don't go to a museum every single day, but it's not exactly a mind-blowing event either :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Game Changer

Today was Day 4 of my latest project. Between being a mommy to King George, a wife to my tall, dark and handsome fella, and my writing, my house had really taken a backseat. My mom-in-law felt the same way because of her time-consuming job. We decided to do something about it. We ordered the book, "Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise," made our index cards, and dove in. So far, my house is sparkle-candle scented-take a relaxing breath-clean. I love the structure that the program provides. I do work my butt off to get my daily tasks done, but it's an awesome feeling when I can put the cards in the next day's file. My husband, who was born organized, doesn't quite understand. "Why do you have to have a card?" he asks. Like the book says, I have the best intentions, but get easily sidetracked. He doesn't mind his cards either, and when George gets old enough, he'll have cards too. To have a crispy clean house is definitely worth the hours spent putting my little black box together and making sure the daily tasks get done. I'm ecstatic to be organized for the next year. My mom-in-law seems pretty happy so far too. I can't recommend it just yet, because it is only Day 4, but I do have a pretty good feeling about it.

I'm grinning, because, now, I have guilty-free time to write and fit in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Woo-hoo!

If you're interested, feel free to message me below, and maybe I can give you a few tips to help you get started.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The King...of Words?

My parents recently traveled to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. When my mom talks about Elvis, her eyes always glaze over and she seems transported back to a time of hip-shaking and cheesy movies. So, let's just say going to Graceland was definitely at the top of her to-do list. I think the trip was as dreamy as she always hoped it would be (although I'm pretty sure she wants him to be alive now more than ever). Their vacation got me thinking about Elvis. He will always be known as "The King of Rock and Roll," and Michael Jackson will always be "The King of Pop," but I wonder who the world considers to be "The King of Words." Would Steven King fit the bill? His name certainly would, but do his dark and often twisted stories measure up to such a title? Or maybe there should be genre kings since rock and pop are both types of music. Maybe James Patterson would be "The King of Mystery." How about Clive Cussler? My dad's a huge fan of Mr. Cussler's wild adventures. Edgar Allan Poe for poetry? Maybe we need a queen, like Jane Austen. How would a king or queen be measured? If by sales, maybe J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer would take the throne. I wonder if a king or queen of literature will ever be as widely known as "The King of Pop" and "The King of Rock and Roll."